French Wounded Emergency Fund Volunteer Diary, 1917
Transcribed by Lee Ellen Griffin, December 2017
Salisbury University Nabb Research Center Special Collections
Preferred citation: Item, collection name, [Box#, Folder#,] Edward H. Nabb Research Center for
Delmarva History and Culture, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland.
March 1, 1917
Busy with my preparations for Biarritz. Bills for suit, hat and waist amount to 665 francs which is too
much. Also my suit is too heavy. It doesn't pay to get things in such haste.
Friday March 2,17
Had a rather stuffy distinctly second class trip to Biarritz, but was happy to be on the move. Left Paris at
8.40 am arrived Biarritz 10.30 P.M. and were driven to the Beau Sejour by a neat and capable woman
fiere driver made the acquaintance of French "megus" candy. Fine.
Saturday Mar. 3 rd
Fine warm sunny day but hazy, not much to be seen of the Pyrenees from the Cafe Basque. Our little
hotel Bean Sejour or Maison Hulot as the natives seem to prefer to call it is spotlessly clean and the food
Rather rainy + disagreeable. My day off. Miss B. insisted on walking to the Light House and then
Sunny with cool breeze. Found a letter from Ross at the bank. He is going on a prize stock farm where he
will have more scope for his energies. Seems sorry to leave Apple Hill but says "its not the same and he
knows it never will be again."
Had a lovely to guethary..., at St. Jean de Sais where we same 13 three galleried Basque church in which
Louis XIV + Maria Theresa were married, also house in which he stayed.
Stormy. Letters from Bess, Katharine + Frances.
Bess is finally settled on building a house, has won over Theodore on the plea of its being a good
investment for her money. Bess is always clever enough to find a plausible reason for what she wants to
do. Should say Bess had won out tho' I imagine the Mastins think they have in getting B + T settled near
them. Perhaps it is a good example of a peace without victory.
Frances in great distress over conditions at 2 Place Possoz. Wants advice.
Wed. 8 th
Stormmer. High wind + sea
Wrote to Ross congratulations and a little advice about being a good boss making bossing his real job. At
the same time wrote to commiserate Ann on losing him suggesting that perhaps she might after all like
better to close the house in winter.
Wrote Frances two letters as requested one for Miss D, and doled out as much and as little advice as I
Thurs. 9 th
Fearful tempest in the night.
Slept badly. Took advantage of comparative clearness to visit Bayonne saw the museum Cathedral,
Chateau Vieux and a whole regiment of black African French troops, ungainly loose jointed + with large
Finished Rommutehous Pierre Lotus exquis the play of the Basque people. It shows up remarkably the
evils connected with the Catholic Church - and very tragically
Fri. 10 th
Glorious warm sunny day. Walked to Bois du Boulogne rowed for an hour on La negresse (1 Franc) The
woods are full of lovely little primroses, a royal purple something which Mrs. Symes calls "orclins,"
jonquils, violets, not many of the two latter. Many fishers on the lake.
Sat. 11 th
Another perfect day
Wrote some post cards + had a shampoo. Sat on a bench most of the afternoon with Miss B. who didn't
feel at all well
Spent a half hour with the Symes, English rector and his wife.
Sun 12 th
The same as to weather. Slept poorly. Woke early + wrote in my diary. English people alwaysmake me
feel l ike th e as if they thought me "the prodigal son," a wayward incomprehensible child. Believe they
are profoundly curious about us, and are having a dreadful time in their own minds trying to Anglicize
us. We are a bastard child. England is our mother we "have no father."
Shouldn't wonder if it all ended by our American giving them another peace without victory.
Service of the English Church in the morning - very tame, but pleasing. "God is a spirit and they that
worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." The good Rev. is very shy and self conscious but a
dear + we found it impossible to join in the laugh that greeted his drinking later on the Cote de Oasque.
Miss B. insists tho' that it put new life into him. Two of my English Tommies have thrilled Miss B. by the
magnificence of their carriage.
Monday 13 th
Cloudy, some rain. Blew up cold in the afternoon. Walked to the light house. Miss B. had a bad headache
+ seemed anxious to get home where she suddenly revived and showed the greatest interest in the
Princess somebody of English German origin who was coming to tea with the Symes. Tried to drag her
away but she simply had to see them. The Symes had to curtsey - should loath that if they didn't inspire
a curtseying feeling in me. The husband of the Princess being of the house of Hanover had just had his
Eng. title taken from him. Tasted all day the cigarette I smoked with the Symes last night.
Tues. 14 th
Pres. Wilson has taken things into his own hands, as the country demanded, and ordered the arming
and manning of merchant ships by the U.S. navy. It is said that we shall be at war with Germany in a
month. Who knows perhaps the world will be at peace before then. Certainly the German people are
going to demand it sooner or later.
Sen. Stone recently denounced by Press as pro- German has been reappointed Chairman of Foreign
Relations Com. The Herald fails to enlighten us as usual.
Worried about Frances, hearing that she has left ward or hospital
It is reported that Americans are in possession of H. . secret code by means of which they we learned of
German machinations in Mexico + S. America. In any event we learned them and we are showing the
Germans that we are not so dumb as they thought. In the light of Germany's ... in Mexico and S. America
Wilson's Mexican policy shows up as the greatest triumph of his administration instead of it chief
Rev. Symes gave me a lesson in bridge playing. Wish Uncle G had been there to laugh over what
Grandma would have said.
British have Bagdad.
Wed 15 th
Severe rain storms.
The Algonquian an American steamship owned by the Clyde Line has been sunk by U-39 sixty five miles
at sea on her way to Liverpool. No lives lost.
The English increases on the S...e and in Asia Minor make ones English blood feel like holding up its head
Still raining in gusts. Very cheerless with no fire to set by. Bought me a Basque tarn o shanter for 3 Frc 75
Fri 16 th
A gorgeous blue day with stiff fresh breeze - Spent the morning on the Cote Basque basking. Walked
with Sally B. past the light house to the Plage d'Anglet and inland home past the Golf Links and the gas
tank ... villa Genier, to tea at the Wurmont where the Symes joined us. We ran out of tea and toast to
my chagrin. Mrs. Symes read us the news of the abdication of the Czar in favor of his son. a nd th e
the arrest of all the ministers and the establishment of a provisional govt which has already been
recognized by England. It is apparently a Revolution the Douma(?) having refused to obey the Czars
order to dissolve.
Sat 17 th
"So here hath been dawning another blue day." The Pyranees are shrouded in mist - - Sally B went off
without me. I offended her last night by some stupidity by being so abominably critical I suppose. Also
made the English sit up and take notice by dropping a hint as to the popular French suspicion of
Englands intentions in France. They are so complacent and so unreasonably disagreeable and superior
about things American that I seem to have to prick them. Bryan was "rather provincial" not one good
word for him. Alan Segar they found a great bore, because he preferred Byron to Browning- not one
good word for him. English people simply cannot understand Americans.
Sunday 25 th
Paris, Clear + cold.
So cold + rainy at Biarritz that we left Fri aft at 4. 19 reaching Bordeaux 9.50 where we passed the night
at Hotel Terminus leaving Bordeaux at 11.05 am arriving Paris 8.50 where with much difficulty we
secured a taxi. Nice French boy got on the train at Amgouleme where he is taking telegraphic training
for military service. He belongs to the class of 1918. He is preparing to be a writer. Pierre Loti is his great
admiration but in English he likes the Williamsons. He thinks that chivalry is practically dead among
nations except in France which still has a little.
Told us that he is the son of a Dr Naffre(?) whose three other sons are at the front, one an aviator.
Met Miss B. at the Russian Church at 11 a.m. Was much impressed by the antiquated and beautiful
musical quality of the service as well as the earnestness of the people.
Frances sister Katherine Baker arrived this week on the Rochambeau. She is brilliant and charming and
good in the rather hard cold American way.
Found Frances sick with a cold.
Took Katherine in to tea at Rumpelmeyers where we had ices.
Letters from Bess Gen + Katherine
Monday 26 th
We are at war with Germany, without having declared it. We seem to be playing the delaying game of
the Allies. It pays us; gives us time to prepare an offensive a nd h a r a ss G e rm a ny while Germany starves +
bleeds to death, also holds off her plotters in America and may possibly demoralize them.
Took Katharine to police office and to Surgical Dressings Com. where Mrs. Austin informed us of the fact
that some of the Ambulance boys coming over on the Rochambeau had small pox. This means
vaccinations for us.
Went with K. to Prefecture where the officials received us with open arms as soon as they knew we
Had my hairwashed. Mrs. Dewey hugs tells me of a chance to drive a Ford for the British Fund for French
Go to see Mrs. Dewey's friend Mrs Twining at 22 Ave. Heuvre Martin. An elaborately coiffed and
gowned but intelligent lady very wealthy apparently but lacking in taste as far as her house goes. She
gave me her card + told me to go see Mrs. Talbot at Bastion 55 Bios de Boulogne.
Go with K. to Dr Austin for vaccination, then to Embassy to have passport renewed.
Write to Gen
Sally B. comes to take me to call on Louise Pope Hourtail in the Latin quarter. Find her a picturesque
mess in a rather threadbare but colorful studio overlooking the chimney tops of Paris with a Belgian
police puppy named Bataille de Verdun and birds flitting about the room. She gave us tea from a lovely
luster + silver service. Sally fell to doctoring her and we walked over to Roberts to get her some calomel.
Cloudy - made an appointment with Sally's gruff Russian dentist for Tuesday at three.
Mme. C. goes with me in pouring rain to see Mrs. Talbot who almost promises me a chauffeurs job with
Edith May. Hope I get it. Shall be sorry to be separated from Francis & Katherine but very glad to get
away out in the air & in the country.
Go with Mme. C. to her sisters where we have tea. A nice French home with two charming children.
Clear & cold.
Have been writing up my diary and have it all t. .sted. Went yesterday a.m. in rain to Mme Barges w K.
She has good sense about clothes. Spent the afternoon yesterday on the bed with a hot water bottle
reading Philip Gibbs "The Soul of War" a first hand journalist's account very thrilling but quite sane.
Went to American Ambulance with K. & F. Sally B very gushing. My poor marine has lost sight of one
eye& Miss Murray didn't even know it not speaking French.
Sun 31 st
Cloudy with showers. Rested in bed all morning. Went to picture exhibition in rue Volney in the
afternoon on M. Benssets cards. Saw charming portrait of white haired woman by Lampt. Another I liked
of girl with turban. Had tea at Colombines with Katherine who very much enjoys giving her views and
impressions on pictures.
Mon. Apr. 1
Showery tempest with rain & huge snow flakes in P.M. Walked in Bois with Francis. Wrote Katherine &
Bess. Sent check for 50 francs to Dr. A. Waiting impatiently to hear Pres Wilson's message.
Tues Apr. 2
Clear, cold & windy. Walked with F. % hour at the dentists rue de I'Echelles, walked from there to
Brentours down the rue de la Paix to the Place Concorde and home along the river. Evening paper has
more facts of Presidents address he asks financial, industrial & commercial support for Allies, army of
500,000 men raised by universal services law and war to the limit of our resources.
Invited to tea in Mme. Desjeuxs room. French lesson at 6:30 PM
Wed. Apr. 4
Stormy. Read Wilsons message. For some unfathomable reason Flood's resolution has not yet been
adopted. They say it took Congress ten days to declare war on Spain. Have a note from Mrs. Talbot
asking me to meet Edith May there to-morrow at 11:30 A.M. Searched Passy in pouring rain for butter.
Finally found it close by home. Had tea with F. in Mile. Desjeux's room.
Thurs Apr. 5
Walked with Frances to the Maurie and on to the French Wounded Emergency Fund where I met E. May
and arranged to drive a car for her visiting the hospitals in the Erne & Loire, Mayenne, Sartha & Orne
Departments. Have to get a license and a uniform. Edith M. says she is glad to have an American, who
can take an idea quickly and act on it as distinguished from the French who haven't the habit of acting
and the English who haven't the habit of thinking. Mrs. Talbot full of gossip tales of French poltroonery
Fri Apr. 6
Sally B. arrived immediately after lunch to get me to go with her to help her buy a hat. Met Louise
Hourtal at Galerie Lafayette. Went to Dr. Kritchevsky's. He thinks Tsar ought to be killed whether he is
guilty or not being a center for reactionaries. Also, thinks America's coming into the war will prolong it.
Had tea and went to Mile. Bernardels to look for a hat. Louise Hourtal fell in love with the two sisters
and all their works. Sally B. went into ecstacies & ordered a gown & a hat. Had dinner at Chinese Tea
Room. Home by Metro
Louise says Dr. K is separated from his wife and has another but without a divorce. Sally B has spoiled
Bruno and made every body hate him and now he is taking it out on her by telling her that the American
Ambulance is absolutely no good.
Fair with showers. Tea at the Marlboro with Edith May. Tried to get auto dictionary at Brentanos. Saw
first motor sled on Ave. de I'Opera.
Fine. Church at Notre Dame. Aft to Luxembourg Musee where saw some beautiful things of Rodins liked
especially La Pensee. Stopped for a few minutes at service at St. Etienne's and afterward saw fine old
house of Charles LeBrun painter of Louis XIV th times which the govt has secured and was about to
renovate when war broke out.
Fair but cold. Walked home with Frances from English Dairy and went to tea with Frances & Katharine at
Mrs. Dewey's where we met Mrs. Griffin. The house was most exquisitely clean. Mrs. D. served us
herself very daintily but she herself took nothing yet was most gracious.
Snow squalls. Went with Miss Repton from the British Fund to get permission to take examination from
the Prefecture. Took my first turn at driving a Ford down the Champs Elysees. Had lunch at Barracks
with the English. Mrs. Talbot remarked that at last the French were beginning to praise them.
Apparently the English resent not being praised even tho it hardly ever occurs to them to praise others.
Wed. 11 th
Went according to appointment to take my examination but found my papers had not yet arrived. Met
Sally B & Mme. Hourtal at Mile. Bernonards. Bought me a dark blue jersey blouse at the Galerie
Lafayette for 39 francs. Had my last lesson with Mile. Faurem Very cold windy day.
Thurs 12 th
Fine sunny morning. Took my examination at 10 A.M. & have my provisional license whatever that
means. Did the stupid act of stalling my engine in turning round. Walked thro the Bois to Nerielly (?) to
order some more passeport photos. It is still so cold that there is not a leaf out on any tree.
Went to look at dresses at Lanvins with Katharine & Frances. Bought a wrist watch at the Printemps for
59 francs, guaranteed for 5 years. Had lunch at Poccardie Italian Restaurant. The waiter recommended
highly a dish called Puchero. It was poor trash an unappetizing mixture of tough boiled beef, cold
storage fowl, strong sausage, carrots, turnips, cabbages & beans. It wasn't exactly the waiter's fault that
we didn't like it & I wanted to give him the usual tip but the others said ten cents was enough. Result,
waiter insulted pursued us with this remark that we had forgotten our change.
Sat May 12
Very warm & heavy. Went to Barracks to report, taking Miss D at her request met there Miss Hackett &
Mme. Charcot Hendry. Former reminds me somewhat of Maria Dowd. Mme Hendry is very handsome
Had lunch w. Mme Combenale and her sisters, took Ford to garage & walked to the Celtic where Miss
Hackett introduced me to Miss Lowther her chief chauffeur neice of the speaker of the English
Parlement and champion fencer-woman of the world. English & marmish but very nice. Smokes of
Sun. May 13
Beautiful day after heavy rains in the early morning. English advance on 3 mile front and retake
Bullecourt. Went with Edith May and Mrs. Copley-Green to the Ministry of War. A pass procured us by
Mme. Charcot Henry secured us immediate consideration. We passed through a great square courtyard
lined with grey military motors and up a dingy wooden stairway to an ante room where several people
waited among them an alert intelligent looking young woman dressed in a rain coat and sombrero who
looked at us very particularly later as she passed thro' the room with an official while we waited for Mr.
C-Green to transact his business. Our letter from Miss Hackett was very courteously received by Lieut.
Marrin who apparently tried every way he could think of to get us a pass to Comfingue (?) immediately
all to no avail however. We must wait at least a week. Even Mme Charcot Henry who has great influence
in govt circles advised us to wait patiently when we saw her later at the Hotel Vendome. I found her very
much of a lady and am hoping that things will so arrange themselves that we may work under her. Miss
M & I rather annoyed over the failure of Miss H's note retired to Rumpelmeyer's for lunch railing rather
unjustly of English bluffers. Cheered by the consumption of some excellent food, an omelette, brioche
bread (forbidden by law) salad coffee and ice cream we decided to finish up the day at St. Cloud. As no
boats were running we took tram no. 2, walked back thro' the beautiful woods to Sevres, sat on a tree
stump to cool off, the day being intensely hot, and finished up by suffering together at 2 Place Poseoz
where Mme May was the center of an admiring group.
Fair and warm. Stopped with the Ford at the Barracks for gas and orders. Stopped at Failanders [ ? ink
blot obscures some of word] to see K. Baker who was in very friendly mood and took l unch came back
with me driving the car to lunch. She is now rooming and taking her meals out at the side walk cafes.
Spent the aft working over refractory tire without success.
Fair & cooler. Fixed tire and cleaned car. Composed for a nap. Marcelline came in as she always does on
those rare occasions just as I was dropping off. Russia's Workmans and Soldiers Com issues some strong
appeal to soldiers at the front to carry on offensive against German Imperial troops declaring a separate
peace unthinkable. Joseph Choate died yesterday of heart stroke brought on by excitement of
receptions to French & English missions. He was 85 years old and very full of honors.
The first American sea wasp begun on Apr 2 is launched.
Friday May 25
Exceedingly warm. My first day at the Hotel de I'lntendance 50 rue de I'Universite. I moved myself and
Miss M yesterday with our little Ford Carmion (?). We have two fine large rooms and a bath en suite
with very good food at 10 francs. Its very good for an inexpensive hotel. I miss the hominess of Mme
Drydens the children and the garden especially my beautiful horse chestnut looking in at the window.
Have drawn out my money, 2292 francs from Comptoir National at Passy & deposited 2000 of it here in
this branch. Am army officers are in Paris. Mme. C. came to help E. M. & stayed for lunch. She believes
govt ought to prohibit sale of drinks to wounded soldiers. She says the (?) are not discouraged except as
they are influenced by the women at home. E.M. agreed and quotes famous surgeon at the front as
saying that these two years have been the best of his life because of the fact that there have been no
Met Mme Eliesco at Val de Grace, and took her with a load of stuff to St. Cloud. Stuck for gas on the hill
there her boy & I armed with an empty bidon (?) and my Lettre de Service went to seek it. The
marchandeuse refused it without a card & sent us to the Mairie where after much discussion I finally got
order for 1 bidon of gas - enough for the completion of the journey. Mme Eliesco's former husband was
Vice Counsul (?) [sic] in Constantinoble. Her present husband is an Halian (?). She directs the work of
various ateliers for convalescent soldiers. Frances & Katharine called in the evening.
Went to see F. & K. They came back to dinner here with us. Afterward E.M. & I to hear a little of the
Concert of the English Royal Guard in the Twileris.
We have our wish - a pass that takes us anywhere we wish to go in the war zone - breathe it low. They
say no one other women have such a thing except Mme. R.H. who got ours for us by means of a letter
from her sister Mme W.R. The difficulty was in getting it for me, a woman chauffeur. I am the luckiest
undeserving creature that ever lived! Before America entered the war I could not possibly have gotten
it. Now we are co-belligerents.
Sat. June 2
After 2 days of feverish preparations in Paris with nothing ever ready on time and no one ever doing
what the promised we are out in the glorious open country. What a joy to breathe and live again.
Leaving Paris at 11:30 we stopped for luncheon in St. Marie. Left at 2 passing thro Champaigny etc to
Provins 7 kilometres where we spend the night. This is the first town in the war zone is full of sturdy
soldiers. Hospital in boys college which was Chateau of Counts of Champague. From its garden came the
red rose of Mary Tudor. Lost our bags out of the back of my Camion but found them again.
Sun June 3
Left Provins at 10:30 of a glorious day. Country a round there beautiful hilly & wooded. Lunched at La
Fere Champanoise 3.50 frcs. Brilliant sky with billowy innumerable clouds. After long stretch over open
high plateau over which w e r e so l di e rs some scattered crosses mark the valient dead graves. Germans
were there 2 days - we reach the Camp de Nially & pick our way down the one long street thro a
seething swarm of so l di e rs sky blue uniforms. H e r e and th e r e the controlled & intelligente French faces
accentuated by stolid Russian & emotional negro. We visit the Russian hospital barracks nicely filled up
with a very nice Russian chapel. The nurses told us the Russians were very manageable and nice. The
French Dr. said quite the opposite. The Russians on the French front have not fought since the Russian
Revolution, for which they are called Boche (?) by French soldiers. Dr. Vibert who is half Russian and a
half Russian nurse made very earnest appeals in their behalf. Miss May then visited the French hospital
and was quite dismayed that we had brought them nothing, they were in so much greater need than the
Russians. - Delicious tea was served us from a Russian samovar after which we left for Chalous sur
Marne where being only 30 kilo from the front we heard the guns driving off a German aeroplane.
Mon June 4
It has become extremely warm. We spend the morning attempting to visit hospitals and after lunch start
for Coulousmier via Montmirail. On the way Miss M. & I stop to visit a field of trenches dug in white
sand. The Germans were all thru this region. At Couloinmier we met by chance Colonel Guy who was too
badly wounded to be able to return to the trenches & has the training of the 1918 class. We promise
him some footballs. Lieut Mercer son of the famous artist dines with us at Couloumiers. Good hotel.
Tues June 5
We visit two hospitals at C. no. 81 an Evacuation H. in an old armory has many needs. It has no lighting
system, candles only! Very clean. Return to Paris by way of monument of Cresy. Heat is intense.
Sun June 10
Fresh and cool. Received letters during the week from Gen Ben and Katharine. Wrote to Ben & Kate.
Had an excellent dinner at Duvals very well served, on Boul. St. Germain for 3 frcs. 80.
Our preparations & purchases are complete for returning with supplies to the hospitals visited.
Mon June 11
Very much overladen we start for Provins via Fountainbleu and Monterean. Beautiful country and fine
roads as soon as we are well out of Paris. Lunch at 3 30 in the forest of Fountainbleu which is full of
hungry ble beetles and giant mosquitoes. Nice pass thru section of Park which has been used for artillery
practice. Are the American soldiers in camp there? From Monterean we climb the hill to the Chateau de
Forges where we leave gifts for the blesse's (?) and remain for dinner with Miss May's friend the
Parisian lawyer who is Geston Maire, there an hours ride over charming country roads traversed by
deer, rabbits, pheasants etc brings us to Provins at 9:30.
Tues June 12
Restless night at the Hotel de la Fontaine carrying the load all night. Having delivered our gifts at the
hospital we have lunch repack the auto and start for Mailly le Camp over white roads which are for the
most part excellent, but we work hard deciphering the route and lose time stopping to read signs. Mailly
is glad to get the things we bring but disappointed at not having more. The staff looks dirty and
disgruntled. We are tired and disappointed with our gifts and exe. .ate Mrs. Tlbt. Dinner at Sezanne
raises our spirits. As there are no rooms to be had we go 24 kilom to Montmirail and an excellent little
inn with a painted lady in charge.
Wed June 13
The military hospital is in great need. There are no women on its staff. Its whole air is forelorn. There is a
nice garden without a single seat! The engine is not at its best and we clean spark plugs. Stopping at
Boissy le Chateau to leave footballs for Col. Guys 1918 boys we are received rather stiffly by his
assistants. The best French people and the humble are charming, but some are greedy, insolent cynical
and provincial. At Miss Mays request we are shown the Park & Chateau. Rose gardens are lovely and we
come away with a beautiful bunch of them. Arriva at La Ferte Milon in time for dinner.
Thurs June 14
The Hotel de Sauvage here is well named. Dirt & disorder reign supreme, yet the food is good! I sleep in
a transformed billiard room. The floor has never been scrubbed but the bed is delicious. We order
breakfast at 7 30 but at 8 00 we call to the soldiers eating in the courtyard (the bells do not ring) to send
us a maid. The Germans were here eleven days and well used the hotel as headquarters. It seems they
pillaged from all these towns at Villers-Cotteret where we lunch the furniture was taken from the hotel
and the safe broken open. - The large hospital in the palace here has many needs - Before entering
Villers-Cotteret our papers are demanded for the first time.
Fri June 15
We reached the Palace Hotel yesterday in time for tea and with no essence to spare. We found Miss
Hackett the head of the English canteen just gone to Paris. She is expected back tomorrow but Miss May
says won't be back perhaps till Monday! Meantime here are we stranded in a town you can't send a
telegraph from even without special permission, at an expensive hotel with nothing to do! We have no
permit to go to Paris by train and can't move till Miss Hackett who is a Lieutenant in the French Army
comes to our rescue with some essence.
Sat June 16
Very hot. Still no Miss H. and no essence. Even the Commissarait of Police referred us to Miss H. We
settle down to wait with patience, get out our writing materials and lo! The first person to greet us as
we enter the luncheon room is Capt. Hendry. He embraces Miss May to the great interest of the many
onlookers. In her relief she almost forgot to resent it. He & the English Admiral with him have a large
laugh at our expense. I have the honor of shaking hands with the Admiral but forgot to mention my
admiration for thr British navy. He is very weatherbeaten, frank and pleasant. Capt H gives us essence.
With our 4 bidons of gas we pay our 79 franc bill and get off feeling like birds let out of a trap. On the
road thro the forest of Campiegna we pick up a (?) forester on his way home to spend Sunday. He is so
shy he can hardly speak, very (?) French in that. Had been in the trenches until January. He looked old
and worn. We went out of our way to take him home to his tiny little village near Seulis and were
rewarded with a lovely road thro the heart of the forest to Creil where we visit 2 hospitals. Back to Paris
by a beautiful road thro Chantilly. Find our little Directrice much upset by some ungentlemanly
Americans. She has over 60 of Gen. Pershing's staff, underlings I suppose.
Sun June 17
Good hot American weather. The maid who doubtless sleeps in a cupboard looks done up. She speaks
with pity for the soldiers and the wounded. Breakfast is impossibly scanty. Miss May has hardly slept at
all because of the noisy Americans who talk more than half of the night. We have decided to look up
another place of residence, and have some addresses given me by Mile. Desjeux who is in town over
Sunday with Frances. The latter is saying farewell to Katherine who expects to go to the front with Mrs.
Daly's corps of untrained nurses. Luncheon at Duval's w. Miss M and Mr. Copley Green.
Wed June 20
Cloudy and cooler. After lunching with Miss M. and Mr. C. G. at Bon Marche pack up and prepare to
move to Champs Elysees Hotel where we arrive at 10 P.M. Our rates here are excellent - 8.50 a day for
room and breakfast which is cheap for the Etiole region. Now that Mme. Hendry has the car Miss May
got her. I shouldn't be at all surprised if she meant to throw her over. Finished and mailed letter to Gen
Sat June 30
Leave Paris at 5 P.M. with Miss Bainbridge Bell en route to Valence where I am to stay until another
chauffeur can be got from England. Engine misfiring all the way to Marlotte, tho' it has just come from
the shop. Miss Wyld & Miss Gray start with us but abandon the sinking ship. Dinner at Thelium (?),
reaching old & quaint Hotel de Renaissance at Marlotte ao 9 30 P.M. Room on courtyard 4 frcs. Miss B.B.
hates American clam broth with whipped cream!
Sun July 1 st
Mechanic next door to hotel works 4 or 5 hrs on the car, and we start stopping at Montiguy for tea with
some delightful Polish friends of Miss B.B. Engine so bad that we return to Marlotte for the night.
Mechanic files platinum points on vibrators and all goes well - Poles most appreciative of Americans
stand for independence of Poland. Room looking on lovely garden. We walk in forest & talk w. nice (?)
who insists that morale of troops as a whole is excellent better that of civil population. Miss B.B. hates
Mon July 2
Leaving Marlotte 11 we lunch and buy motor accessories at Montargis, tea at Cosne, dinner and the
night at Nevere where we spend next morning seeing town & afternoon getting essence. Delicious food
at Grand Hotel but very noisy. We see some interesting bits of architecture and are shown his foiencerie
(?) by the proprietor. Miss B.B. presents me very gracefully with a little yellow cream jug. We spend 3
hrs and 40 frcs. 50 centimes getting 50 litres of essence from the military. Miss B.B. hates the many
courses at dinner in America. Reach Bonabour I'Archambeault at 7 P.M.
Wed July 4 th
Have the carbon removed from cylinders at Allands, agent for Ford and for Adriance and Platt
agricultural machinery. Leave car there for the night to have broken brace repaired. Left Paris w. a heap
of junk, hope to reach Valence with a real car. M. Allands daughter spoke of Americas intervention with
tears in her eyes. Says 300 lunatics came back from Salonica to a neighboring town. Miss B.B. relates
spiritualistic tales and recounts jokes. She hates the openness of American porches, but loves our
Thurs 5 th
The Hotel de Parc is full of the old and rheumatic come to take the baths. Saint Saens is here. One sleeps
deliciously to the sound of the fountain opposite whither all the world goes for drinking water. Very
charming old church in ruined chateau. Landlady charged us only 10 frcs 50 a day, a reduction for the
red cross. We leave at 4 30 for LaPalisse stopping on the way to look at the old church of St. Menoux
and the Abbey & Church of Souvigny. Delayed by blowout we arrive at 8 P.M.
FriJuly 6 th
Leave at 9 30 after very comfortable night regretting that we have no time to visit the private hospital in
the huge old chateau that so picturesquely dominates the town. Pretty drive to Roanne mountains on
our right. We go to the market & buy stuff for lunch which we eat by the side of a pretty stream a few
kilom. out of Roanne. Miss B.B. eats her own large box of sardines & half of mine! Passing thr. lovely
country to St. Etienne we climb over a pine clad mountain and down to a valley wh. leads us to the
Rhone which we follow to Tain - 200 kilm.- a hard day.
Sat July 7 th
Hotel de I'Hermitage comfortable but very noisy street. The hospital here has been turned into a
refugee home. Arrive at Valance, Hotel de la Grand Croix d'Or for lunch & settle down for a long stay to
visit about 24 hospitals in this region. All Miss May's acquaintances here beam at the mention of her
name. We go with the Low's- Mrs. Alison Low, her son & daughter-in-law to the Decoration on July 14 th
& a concert where talking with the mayor I understand in a flash why French people talk of a revolution
after the war. He is all that is worst in the corrupt boss type of politician. Meet Dr. Gayet, chief surgeon
for this region and his son, the soeur Elisabeth, and thr aviator Lepere. Dr G. did 130 operations in 24
hrs. We have lunch w, Dr. Chatelins at Romans, tea at St. Donat w. the daughter of a French chef pushed
out of England by a German manager. A silk manufacturer here tells me before Miss B.B. that America is
the greatest country in the world. This for a man whose grandfather is Eng. and who knows England well
is a knock out blow for my jealous British companion but being Eng. she treats me much better after it.
We visit a consumptive hospital at Beauvallon taking Mrs Low. It is beautifully kept. Read Well's "God
the Invisible King" & pass it on to the Lows. Mrs. L is shocked in spite of her liberal views, - in spite of the
fact that she says almost no one believes any more in the immaculate conception! E.M. writes me a
rather prim but very nice letter. Nice long letters from Gen & Bess, but no money and I am almost
penniless! - Mrs. Low says that the reason Scotland has had no air raids is because of the German
respect for the Presbyterian Church. She thinks we could have a good time together because we neither
of us can endure too much commonplace!! The day before we leave I encounter the aviator Lepere in
the street and am treated to a lemonade by him. In return I give him a try at running the Ford and we
part good friends. He is a typical brigand in character, bold & direct, and charming. His machine took fire
in the air and his left hand is badly burned. Young Mrs. Low is a cousin of Mrs Dobell. Hope to send a
wheeled chair to Dee where there is a poor paralysee.
Thurs July 19 th
We leave Valance & the Grand Croix d'Or with much joy at being on the road again. A delicious lunch at
Livron and conversation with a Belgian refugee. Visit nicely kept hospital in a villa at Loriol and the sweet
matron says what would we do without our "braves amis les Americains." Visit hospitals at Montelunar
Friday July 20 th
Lovely drive over mountains to charming little valley where nestles the Trappist Monastery of
Aiguebelle. After visiting the hospital (the first women ever to have been inside its walls) we are shown
the garden and escorted to a little table under the trees where lunch, a delicious one, was served to us
by th e F a th e r Sup e rior one of the brothers in brown. The Father Superior in his black and white robes
presides most charmingly, mixing the salad dressing for us, coloring richly at having to refuse to eat with
us and appearing much interested in my being an American. We leave early so that he might not be
deprived of his aft. Nap as he gets up every morning at 3 or 4. Want to send him some things for his
hospital but my money hasn't come yet. -
At St. Paul Trois Chateaux where the hospital is in a Seminary we talk with the Seminary head, a priest
who is also Director of the hospital, a very charming & interesting personality of the intellectual type. At
Valreas we visit 3 hospitals. The sisters who are in charge here are of an unusually fine type. Altogether
it has been a day to raise my opinion of the personnel of the Catholic Church. Break down on way to
Lyons fr. dirty spark plugs.
Sat July 21 st
Leave Lyons and its comfortable chateau hotel with regret. Hospital here is for Palredeans (?) for whom
this dry windless climate is very beneficial. Climb two hours by narrow tortuous road thr. lavender fields.
Lunch by a brook in the field of a poor lunatic and discover Miss Bell knows Miss West. Descend into the
valley thr. picturesque gorge and stop at Laragne to visit hospital & spend night. Discover gas leaking
from the feed pipes. A big chasseur who drives a Jeffrey at the front comes to my assistance. Very tired.
Sun July 22 nd
We go on to Gap in late afternoon.
Mon 23 rd
We spend the night at Embrum. This country is full of Chasseurs & I buy me one on a post card a "Diable
Bleu." They are very handsome.
Tues 24 th
Over a very steep grade to Briancour the little hill town which withstood a siege 3 mos in 1814. No
wonder! It is said to be the highest town in Europe. We climb a 14% grade to get in to it - See a very
dismal caserue hospital and meet an amusing character of a surgeon
Wed. 25 th
Glorious drive over Col de Lantaref- a profusion of flowers. Temperful argument with Miss B.B. which
constrains us both to a special effort to show that we are perfectly friendly in spite of it. We spend the
night at La Grave, see a Cascade and a charming little church making the descent to Grenoble next day
we lunch at Bourg d'Oisans and visit the hospital "Bon Accueil" managed and provided for by a woman
factory owner. We arrive at the Hotel Moderne, Grenoble & are run into by a young permisseonaire.